Last Updated on September 7, 2020 by Michael J. Branco
Most runaway micro campers lovers are quite aware that good things mostly arrive in small packages. Moreover, even the most extensive and most expensive rigs are much smaller than the average brick house. However, if you want something small, don’t forget the mini camper. These small and lightweight camping equipment allows campers to choose to follow narrow roads into paradise without having to invest in large and heavy trucks (or expensive carriages).
Generally speaking, mini campers weigh less than 1,000 pounds and are usually customized by their owners. It is a place where innovation and travel ingeniously meet. All this is to meet your basic needs during the journey without spending a lot of energy or money. Although it has a different experience from traditional RV camping, it has the same personality and adventurous spirit.
What is a Micro Campers?
The issue is: Unlike other RV types (such as Class A or Class C), “Micro campers” refer to a wide variety of vehicle types. Converted Volkswagen vans, small teardrop trailers, specific truck models, etc., can all be counted as mini campers (or, technically speaking, mini RVs). Due to the increasing popularity of mini campers, some manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to design models that consumers can use. Do you know why camping is rising in popularity? Click to learn more about it.
Who are Micro Campers Made for?
Micro campers are ideal for people who have no issue when it comes to doing some things on the smaller side. Although they usually do require some sacrifices in terms of space and luxury, micro campers provide a wealth of value in terms of navigability, affordability, and adventure. Below is a highlight of some people which micro campers are suitable.
The Solid Individualist
If you are a person who is willing to do it alone, who wants to spend a good morning on Saturday climbing hills and slopes instead of having brunch, then the micro camper maybe your ideal recreational vehicle. Its versatility and lightness mean that you can navigate to deep destinations, which appeals to your heart, after all, when you travel alone, you don’t need much space.
If you are willing or even eager to enter the DIY spirit of these trailers, you have an added advantage. Designing your DIY micro campers from scratch can help you fully control the functions of the mini camper. Also, if you buy a pre-made camper, the knowledge of how to perform real-time maintenance will make a big difference as well.
Micro camper trailers don’t have much space. But if you travel with your loved one, who would want to make more space in the first place? For lovers who go on a romantic trip to reconnect, or even just to get to know each other better, micro campers are the right choice.
Tented Campers Seeking an Upgrade
If you usually camp in a tent, then even a small travel micro camper trailer will be an essential upgrade. It all boils down to one word: mattress. For people who usually go on the road in tents, micro campers are a great way to enhance your vacation game.
If you are a person who often goes out, and you want to make your life easier, then mini campers have two excellent benefits. First, they are light (so they can be towed behind vehicles you own or use), and it also makes it more possible to do “stealth” camping in overcrowded cities.
Why are Micro Campers Perfect for Short Road Trips?
Micro camper vans are ideal for short trips and also a natural choice for your next vacation. After all, you just need to get to the place you want to go as soon as possible, and then explore; and when you only have a few days, you don’t need to waste much time.
It means you won’t waste any precious time sitting in the RV or watching TV. You may only sleep in the camp or share some stories by the campfire. Either way, the mini camper can provide you with various merits: reasonable price, easy to tow, and can meet all your basic needs without adding any luggage burden.
Why Many People Build Their Own?
If you want to get on the road as soon as possible, the pre-built commercial options of micro campers are great; however, if you are seeking for inspiration to build one from scratch. Then that possible too.
As mentioned above, many micro campers do DIY jobs-that is; it is built or modified from scratch by its owner. Some of the best mini campers fit this description, because doing it yourself allows you to have much control over the camper’s result, so you can determine which features are sufficient to take up space and weight, and which ones are not.
Another benefit of building your camper: price! Although pre-built micro campers are usually cheaper than their big cousins, it is still much less expensive to make it yourself. Some smart travellers can buy micro camper van equipment for $1,000, and $10,000 can provide you with an ultra-luxury version (and the prefab model of the teardrop trailer may start at around $20,000).
Why Are Micro Campers So Popular?
Micro campers are usually called campers and can be easily compressed into an MVP mini-vehicle. As the van sport gets more popular daily, people in outdoor activities want to get out of their homes and take micro-adventures more regularly. Also, the ultimate weekend warrior does not want to waste time renting an RV every weekend but wants to have their camper so they can start their off-grid adventure as soon as possible after closure from work on Friday. To this end, micro camper tends to be a viable choice.
Furthermore, large Campervan versions (such as Mercedes Sprinter conversions) can be expensive and will usually become a second car after the car you use every day. When you own two vehicles, you also need space to store them, and you need to make sure that you can pay for the maintenance of the two cars. Suddenly owning a camper van sounds like a huge commitment. Well, this is where the mini camper comes in. By adding the micro camper to your daily vehicle, you can own your own small house for a minimal price.
5 Best Micro Campers
Timberleaf trailers specialize in the production of small teardrop campers. They provide two mini camping options: Classic Teardrop and Pika, both of which are small enough to be towed behind various small SUVs and even sedans. The weight of the classic model is 1,500 pounds, while the Pika of the basic model is reduced to only 1,025 pounds. It also has upgraded suspension and lifting kits to provide access to challenging camping environment.
The Nest Box
Micro campers do not have to be permanently fixed in your car. If you need that space to carry things or more people, a mobile campervan such as the nest box may be your best choice. Next Box, created by the innovative Czech furniture design company EGOE, has a stylish, practical and outstanding design. The Nest Box is small enough that it can only be inserted into the trunk of the vehicle. Just lift it and fasten it with a belt, and it only takes a few minutes to complete.
Two people can sleep on the bed, which can be extended from the Nest Box, and it also extends to the passenger seat to maintain spaciousness and comfort. The unit also includes a kitchen area that can be accessed and used from the rear of the vehicle. This small kitchen area consists of two burners, a storage room for storing food and utensils, a foldable sink and water unit, and space for storing a refrigerator. A fabric storage box can be added between the bed and the kitchen unit, or it can be used as a blind if your vehicle has a rear window. This provides you with more privacy and space to store small items and clothing.
You will love the smart design of The Nest Box, as it is an excellent use of the small space in the MVP, providing you with everything you might need to spend a weekend in the wilderness. The only negative point here is the price.
Depending on your car’s size, you will spend about 3000-3500 Euros on the unit, and then you have to pay extra for the mattress, cookware, water unit, refrigerator and fabric storage unit. When fully loaded, you may have to spend about 7000 Euros. The price is so high that you will start to consider the price of a used RV or converting one yourself. But if you live micro campervans and have money, then this is the ultimate design you can opt for.
The Dream Case
If you are seeking for something cheaper in the mini camper van market, then Dream Case may be for you. The design of the Dream Case is much simpler. It allows you to turn certain cars into campers by unfolding into a comfortable multi-layer foam mattress. It is stored in a small, zippable device, much larger than a suitcase.
Dream Case is just a mattress, so you still need to carry other cooking tools while on the go. However, a good night’s sleep is one of the most important factors to enjoy a micro holiday, and if you bring a Dream Case, this is undoubtedly guaranteed. Although this is one of Van Life’s most basic ideas, Dream Case does make it possible for everyone to camp and enjoy life outdoors.
Dustin & Kim’s $800 Micro Camper
Money is not everything. But a price as low as $800 is hard to argue! This couple used a reusable freight trailer, reclaimed wood, and a lot of ingenuity (and elbow grease) to assemble this fantastic 40-square-foot small trailer for less than $1,000. That’s crazy, right? They as well did this in just three weeks.
A DIY Far-Out Ride
In this article, we have been talking about mini-trailers, but modified trucks are also mini-campers! You would be particularly impressed by what Isabelle and Antoine of FarOut Ride were able to piece together from an ordinary Ford van their website has an extensive “van manufacturing” section to let you know how they did it step by step.
We have to say that the finished product is fantastic and perfect for this nomadic couple’s dream of travelling. Moreover, considering that the price of a pre-installed Sprinter van with similar equipment is usually over $100,000, the total cost is surprisingly low. The couple spent slightly more than $21,000 and 600-1000 hours in labour. But this was a labour of love!
Read Related Post: Best RV GPS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some answers to the most FAQs about micro campers:
Why are small campers so expensive?
You may think that because they are usually so small that they will not be expensive. Then, you will find that prices among brands start at $14,000. The more features you add, the more money you will pay out of the camper. Is this some kind of error? Did these brands miss a comma or something when they set their prices? Of course not. Some teardrops can be very expensive, just like vehicles such as fifth wheels, pop-up camper vans and travel trailers.
Furthermore, the add-ons, bonus packages and amenities that you choose when ordering the camper will increase the price. Many teardrop manufacturers list the price of each facility on their website. You might think that a $100 TV or a $50 thicker mattress is not a bad thing, but it would surely raise the cost in the end. Once you start adding solar panels, clotheslines, upgraded cabinets, etc., all of a sudden, you will have to add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the facility. This is in addition to the cost of the teardrop.
What are the worst RV brands?
The worst RV brands tend not to operate for a long time. Fortunately, people can quickly notice when the quality is not up to standard. We recommend that you avoid using some brands. This includes:
Gulfstream once enjoyed a high reputation. However, in recent years, many customers have complained about leaks. That’s not something you would love to deal with when camping.
Fleetwood was once a manufacturer with a high reputation. However, now, customers are beginning to notice that their internal space is unbearable and require expensive repairs because the wear level is beyond what it should be. However, this usually happens after the warranty period ends.
Fortunately, hurricane RVs have not been here for that long, and with the number of complaints been tendered, they would not last long either. Some customer’s report that their RV appears to be made of redesigned parts, which is not something many people might put up with for an extended time.
What are the worst travel trailers?
The Coachmen RV brand is a recreational vehicle which has received a large number of complaints in the past few years. Though this brand has existed on the market since 1964, and Coachmen has produced a variety of types and models of recreational vehicles, these vehicles still cannot meet or hardly meet the unique needs of RV users. First of all, the fact that must be mentioned is that this RV has an unimpressive. In addition to this, there are some reasons you should avoid using this RV brand:
- It has no valve on the freshwater drainage device.
- Whenever you move, parts such as screws and electrical insulation drill bits will fall. It also has many loose and bent screws, telling you that the quality of the travel trailer is poor.
- Other problems include broken reclining chairs, broken electric levellers, water leakage in the shower, and inferior quality materials on the passenger seats, which will wear out soon after you start using the RV.
Although the company markets this as the most durable travel trailer, with excellent fuel economy and spacious interior, for most travellers, it is still not up to standard. The owners and users filed several complaints, including structural and technical issues. Also, some users complained that their website is not easy to use, and the customer service is very unreliable. Besides, there are reports that the cabinet door quickly falls off, and the control panel is poorly designed.
Winnebago is a travel trailer brand that caused different reactions. For some users and owners, this is the best choice, but for most people, this travel trailer brand wastes a lot of resources. As one of the newer and most complete travel trailer brands on the market, it has several fans. Unfortunately, when you see some of its shortcomings, you will know that they have not maintained their good reputation. For most users, this travel trailer has some problems related to wall finishes and front wall installation as well. There are several reports that the inner wall is bent, making the trailer unsafe too.
Also, there are reports that the quality of customer service is poor, and the company has failed to fulfil its warranty obligations. Due to the poor structure of most parts, you have to take them to the repair shop too many times, which is quite disappointing and expensive. They also carry electrical faults. Looking at these complaints, it is clear that this RV brand pays little or insufficient attention to the quality of its products. With their inability to respond to customer complaints or their giving of short answers, it is therefore difficult to trust this brand.
What is the least expensive camper?
Currently, the cheapest campervan is called the Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro Travel Trailer. For those who want more light trailers, this travel trailer is the right choice. Since this trailer usually weighs less than 3,000 pounds, it is classified as a lighter weight trailer. Seven layouts are provided, four of which cost slightly less than $10,000, which a high price is considering what you are getting.
Can you sleep in a teardrop trailer?
A well-built teardrop trailer will provide ample sleeping space for two to three people, as well as a fully equipped kitchen.
What is the most reliable RV brand?
The most reliable RV brand currently is Coachmen. The Coachmen brand has put RV on the market for more than 50 years. It has a reputation of providing RV owners with what they want.
What can tow a micro camper?
For many campers, being able to tow without buying a bigger truck is a great desire. But how can a mini camper be towed? Well, the answer depends on the camper and the associated trailer. Although in general, cars are not targeted for towing, some can tow around 1,500 pounds, and many mini campers weigh less than 1,000. However, before assuming that the vehicle is big enough, always check the factory towing capacity of the car against the weight of the camper. Also, pulling something beyond the capacity of the vehicle is dangerous and may invalidate your insurance coverage.
Are micro campers affordable?
Yes! Of course. Though the price point varies, you can buy beautiful prefab micro campers for thousands of dollars or piece them together for less than a thousand dollars. However, either way, you want a more affordable experience than using a large RV or travel trailer.
Are campers worth it?
Sure! Reread the post. Micro campers are an excellent way to enjoy flexible and affordable road trips. As well as travelling alone in one can open you up the world of RVing for those who otherwise could not. They can also reach places in the wild that that are inaccessible to larger rigs.
From the above highlights, we can perfectly see why micro campers have become so popular among adventurers. They are more affordable than large campers, allowing you to spend more time outdoors. It is also perfect for those who are most keen on adventures. Micro Campers can be stylish and cool, and there are some affordable options to make it suitable for you as well.